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Monday, July 14, 2008

Claim your name online

From Howard Owens comes a useful list of tips for journalists who want to 'own their own names' - ie get yourself, your CV, website and blog established and visible in Google searches:

  • Get a Facebook profile going. Use it to link to your site.
  • Start a LinkedIn profile (be sure to take advantage of the service that allows you to create a URL containing your name). My LinkedIn profile page does well in Google. Also, link to your site.
  • Start a profile page on Wired Journalists. Link to your site. My profile page hits the second page of a Google search for my name.
  • My Buzznet site ranks real high for my name in Google, so start posting photos to Buzznet.
  • Ditto for Flickr.
  • Grab your name, as in “clairstamant,” as a Twitter account. My Twitter account ranks high on Google.
  • Start a Digg account. Be a good Digg member and digg worthwhile links, but also when you do a good post, digg your own post. This will help with SEO, too. My Digg account ranks high on Google.
  • Start a YouTube account with your real name as your account name. This should rank high, then, in Google searches for your name. Of course, you’ll want to post some videos. I don’t know how other hiring managers would feel, but I’m going to look more at the spirit of the effort than the quality of the content. I’m not expecting your personal creative expressions online to be NBC ready.
  • Start a second blog. This is an opportunity to add a little SEO juice to your main, professional domain, and it gives you an outlet for personal expression, while keeping your site for professional purposes.
  • Always use your real name online — for EVERYTHING you do. Never leave an anonymous comment. Never use an assumed name. You want people to know you, find you, look for your, know who you are and what you do. Not only is posting anonymously unethical for journalists to do, it robs you of a chance to increase your visibility. Also, cheap and easy anonymity can lure you into a career-ruining mistake. Remember, you can always be found out.